Geneva aldermen OK first step to buy former library building for $450K

Library board to consider selling former building Thursday

The former Geneva Public Library at 127 James St. could be purchased by the city.

GENEVA – Aldermen at a special City Council meeting Monday unanimously approved an ordinance that would lead to the purchase of the former Geneva library building for $450,000, once the library board approves a resolution to transfer the property to the city.

City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said the city and library officials have discussed the status of the former library building. They also had discussions about the city’s own facilities planning.

“So at this point what is before you this evening is an ordinance that would essentially ask the library to sell the building to the city. We’ve talked about a purchase price of $450,000,” Dawkins said. “All this does is ask the library if they would be willing to enter into a purchase agreement to sell the building to the city under the (Local Government) Property Transfer Act, which requires this ordinance.”

The library building, located at 127 James St., has been for sale since the new library opened in 2020. Geneva City Hall is next to the former library building at 109 James St. The two buildings are separated by a driveway.

Aldermen voted without discussion in a meeting that lasted barely three minutes.

The library board is expected to pass a resolution at its Thursday night meeting approving the sale, Dawkins said.

“At this point, we would enter into an actual purchase agreement. So tonight is just the first step in kind of putting that in forward motion for the city to have those conversations, enter into a purchase agreement, and from there, it’s like a typical real estate transaction. You would go through your due diligence process and you would have your closing and all of those things,” she said.

The city’s ordinance said it wants to acquire the building for public purposes – though no one said what those public purposes might be.

The vote was 9-0 and one absent. First Ward Alderman Michael Bruno was not at the meeting.

The library board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at 227 S. Seventh St.

In May, the former library building was listed as being 30,486 square feet on a half-acre lot with a commercial mixed use zoning. The price was listed as “Asking: Subject to offer” on a LoopNet real estate website.